14th Season for Award-Winning Dezart Performs Features Four Desert Premieres

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14th Season for Award-Winning Dezart Performs Features Four Desert Premieres

www.dezartperforms.org

1 July 2021 – Palm Springs, CA: Like an oasis springing up in the Desert after a year of theatrical drought, the award-winning Dezart Performs of Palm Springs (www.dezartperforms.org) returns with a full four-play schedule that brings music, mayhem, mirth and an exploration of mental health to the fore in their 14th Season. First up is the critically-acclaimed Todd Almond / Matthew Sweet musical GIRLFRIEND (October 27 – 30) taking place outside at the Rancho Mirage Amphitheater.  Kicking off the new year, the company returns to its traditional home at thePearl McManus Theater (at the historic Palm Springs Woman’s Club / 314 S Cahuilla Road, Downtown Palm Springs) with Katori Hall’s THE MOUNTAINTOP  (January 14 – 23), a bold reimagining of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s final night. Next is Heidi Schreck’sdramatic exploration of compassion and forgiveness as seen through the eyes of a nun in a Bronx soup kitchen, GRAND CONCOURSE (March 4 – 13). Rounding out the calendar is the one-person comedy/drama EVERY BRILLIANT THING (April 1 – 10) by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe and directed by Deborah Harmon. EVERY BRILLIANT THING was originally the final production of the 2020 Season, delayed by COVID.

“We are so looking forward to welcoming everyone back in October with a play that is a first in many ways,” said Dezart Performs Artistic Director Michael Shaw who directs the first three plays in the upcoming season. “ ‘GIRLFRIEND is the first musical for Dezart Performs, the first play to be presented outdoors, and it’s the first play after a long, dark shutdown.”

Following its final live, with-audience performance, SWEAT, on March 8, 2020, Dezart Performs engaged its audience with a series of live online events during  COVID:  Creating for the Stage: Discussions with the People that Make Shows Happen (November 11 – December 2, 2020) and the interactive online sensation Mental Amusements (January 13 – 31, 2021) with award-winning Mentalist Vinny DePonto.

“Our motto during the pandemic was that we were here, and still dreaming,” said Shaw who co-founded the company in 2008. “Now, the dream is being realized again, and we’re ready to turn a new decade of dreams into reality.”

Dezart Performs, one of the Coachella Valley’s preeminent theatre companies, recognizes that the performing arts enrich the life and culture of a community, promote greater understanding and provoke insightful discussion. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit theatre company, its mission is to provide an artistic home for bold and cutting–edge plays, creating an atmosphere of artistic growth for actors, writers, and directors who uniquely contribute to the diverse theatrical environment in the Coachella Valley. Dates for Season Subscriptions and Single Ticket Sales will be announced later this summer.

14th Dezart Performs Complete Season Listing

GIRLFRIEND

October 27-30, 2021

Book by Todd Almond

Music by Matthew Sweet

Directed by Michael Shaw

Musical Direction by Joshua Carr

Choreography by Ray Limon

Musical Comedy

Rancho Mirage Amphitheater

Set in Nebraska in the ’90s, Will, a bit of a social outcast, and Mike, the popular football player, figure out that there is more to life than what high school has taught them. Days after graduation they explore their relationship and begin to ask themselves where their lives begin. 

“The songwriter and book writer demonstrate both an ear for the rousing energy of circa-1990 pop music, and a sensitivity about the manner in which a pair of young men might find their way to each other in an unwelcoming environment.” – The Washington Post 

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THE MOUNTAINTOP

January 14-23, 2022

Written by Katori Hall

Drama

Directed by Michael Shaw

Pearl McManus Theater

2010 Winner, Olivier Award for Best Play

A re-imagined depiction of Martin Luther King Jr.’s last night on earth set entirely in Room 306 of the Lorraine Motel on the eve of his assassination in 1968. After delivering his famous “I’ve been to the mountaintop speech”, King goes to the Lorraine Motel to rest. His world is spun on his axis when he meets Camae, a young, feisty and foul-mouthed maid, who delivers his room service. 

“Funny and emotionally charged… a powerful, poetic take on [King’s] legacy.” -Philip Brandes, Los Angeles Times

“Intriguing, shocking, funny… a stunning evening.” – Dale Reynolds, EDGE Los Angeles

*   *   *

GRAND CONCOURSE

March 4-13, 2022

Written by Heidi Schreck

Directed by Michael Shaw

Drama

Pearl McManus Theater

2015 Lucille Lortel Award Nominee

Having dedicated her life to religious service, Shelley runs a Bronx soup kitchen with unsentimental efficiency, but lately her heart’s not quite in it. Her brisk nature masks an unsettling fear that her efforts are meaningless. When Emma – an idealistic but confused college dropout – arrives to volunteer, her reckless mix of generosity and self-involvement pushes Shelley to the breaking point. 

“Insightful with a moving, even shocking epiphany.” – Huffington Post

“[Heidi Schreck] writes fluid, natural dialogue and creates detailed characters that offer generous opportunities for actors… the words have the ring of plain truth.” – The New York Times

*   *   *

EVERY BRILLIANT THING

April 1-10, 2022

Written by Duncan Macmillan, with Jonny Donahoe

Directed by Deborah Harmon

Comedy/Drama

Pearl McManus Theater

You’re six years old. Mom’s in the hospital. Dad says she’s “done something stupid.” She finds it hard to be happy. So you start to make a list of everything that’s brilliant about the world. Everything that’s worth living for. 1. Ice cream. 2. Kung Fu movies. 3. Burning things. 4. Laughing so hard you shoot milk out your nose. 5. Constructions cranes. 6. Me. You leave it on her pillow. You know she’s read it because she’s corrected your spelling. Soon, the list will take on a life of its own. A play about depression and the lengths we will go for those we love.

“A heart-wrenching, hilarious play… One of the funniest plays you’ll ever see about depression—and possibly one of the funniest plays you’ll ever see, full stop!” —The Guardian